By JuneBug <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Please see Page One for disclaimers.
Chapter twelve was brought to you by a recording of the Australian Opera's production of 'La Boheme' - actually, just the bit in Act I when Mimi steps into Rodolfo's garret asking if he has a candle, only to accidentally drop her key in the dark...
Ten - Nocturnal Visitors
No... Piersen woke abruptly, her body convulsing violently to an upright position.
"Oh god..." Her body was trembling, and she wrapped her arms around herself, trying desperately to anchor herself to wakefulness.
A rasping whisper escaped her dry lips. "Why...?" Why can't these dreams leave me alone? Jarring visions that were frequent visitors to her sleep; nocturnal companions whose presences flashed images assaulting her senses, like a strobe light in inky blackness.
"Good afternoon. May I speak to Mrs Evans, please." The dry, polite voice crackled slightly over the intercom.
"I'm sorry, she's not home right now. May I ask who this is?"
"This is Detective Inspector Scott of the Peak District Police. May we come in, please?"
She saw her father lying amidst rocks and boulders, his broken body still clad in his usual walking clothes that he wore every morning; his canvas jacket, torn to shreds.
Piersen's stomach froze into a knot when she opened the front door, finding only the two uniformed police officers standing there. Gripped in the anxiety of waiting for news all afternoon, her words slipped out in a confused flurry. "Yes - I'm his daughter, Piersen Stamford. Have you found him?"
"Ms. Stamford... May we have a moment, please?"
"Sure - I'm sorry, please come in." Her worried eyes shifted between the two passive-faced constables as they moved.
The hat I gave him for Christmas, lying beside him...
"Would any other family members be at home, Ms. Stamford? It might be best to have them here." The DI was seated awkwardly in the opulent drawing room, looking up at the pale-faced woman who stood before him.
The cautious hesitation in his voice put Piersen on edge, and she felt her hands grow clammy with fear. "No, the others aren't at home right now. Is there something wrong?"
His hiking stick broken in three places, just like his leg...
"Ms. Stamford... I'm deeply sorry, but a body has been brought in this morning, and we feel that it may be your father."
She saw all the ways he could have been sprawled at the base of the low quarry, before the hiker found him when he walked by some hours later, before the terrifed man reported his find to the district police.
There was a long moment of silence. Piersen remained without expression as her brain tried to process the sudden weight that forced overload on her senses. The words gradually began to ooze like treacle into her consciousness, with understanding following agonisingly after.
"Ms. Stamford, we can't tell you how sorry..." The female officer reached out a hand, but Piersen jerked it away.
It was like a knife had been thrust between her eyes, and her eyelids fell shut as her slim frame lurched forward, her hands blinding reaching out to catch the back of the couch. Her mouth opened, wanting to speak, to scream, to vomit.
"Please listen to me carefully, Ms. Stamford. Is there no one else who will be home in the next few hours?"
Swallowing nothing, her own dry mouth could only manage a hoarse whisper. "No."
"Okay... now, we need you to come into town to make sure it's your father. Do you think you can do that?"
Her arms were tiring from holding her weight, and she found a wall to lean against. "Uh huh."
"Thank you. Would you like us to come back later, or do you think you can come now?"
"Fine... please, give me a moment..." The pounding behind her eyes grew more pronounced, and her head was spinning...
"Sure - we'll be outside."
Piersen waited till she heard the door shut, then, as she felt her back slowly slide down the wall. She did not feel herself hit the floor, open eyes unseeing.
She saw him fall a million times; clutching at empty air, battering his body against the rocks as he fell, losing his footing and disappearing over the edge - so many ways... It would have been amusing had it been some surreal, post-modernist pencil animation she had to review, sketched angrily by some angst-ridden teenager. Titled "101 Ways to Jump off a Cliff", perhaps. There had been too many submissions in that vein landing on her desk recently.
But it wasn't amusing. It was much too real - her father, dying over and over again. And she watched them all, unable to turn lidless eyes away, not knowing whether one of them, or none of them, was the way he fell off that cliff. Nothing - not the police investigation, not the coroner's report that she had studied like a bible, could blunt the pain with their answers. It was an accident.
Stark, cold room, so sterile light would not bounce off the white tiles. Reeking of formaldehyde.
"Ms. Stamford, we understand it will be difficult, but we need you to accurately identify the body."
They walked past row upon row of metal body-sized trays, a macabre honour guard lining the way to the single, occupied table in the morgue. Piersen nodded, mute.
They stopped at the end of the shrouded table. The constable grasped the edge of the cloth, and looked closely at the mask-like face before him. "Ms. Stamford, can you recognise this person?" He pulled away the white sheet.
She drew in a breath and looked resolutely away; trying to forget what she had seen, what was burned into her eyes.
"Ms. Stamford, do you recognise the body?"
"Yes. It is Charles Evans, my father..."
Piersen smoothed out her sleep-tousled hair, and drew in a deep breath - feeling the rest of her body wake slowly, her nerves settling with the familiar thudding dullness of her heartbeat.
I guess they're back. And here I was hoping I'd get a break from the bad ones - and a few more of those good dreams...
She climbed out of bed, and headed unsteadily to the bathroom, glancing at the bedside clock as she went. Three o'clock. Well done, Piers. You've almost guaranteed yourself a bad start to the day now.
She didn't bother turning on the bathroom light, and felt her way to the wash basin instead. Turning on the tap, she splashed cold water on her face, an icy baptism attempting to exorcise her from her night-demons. Piersen looked at her sleep ravaged face in the mirror, the darkness hollowing out her eye sockets, her cheeks, the corded muscle in her neck. Out of a sudden, inane impulse, she pulled a face and watched her reflection snarl at her, baring her canines into an emaciated grimace.
Golly Piers - look at you. You are way gone now. She forced a hollow chuckle and padded out of the bathroom, wiping her hands on her flannel pyjamas.
Experience told her that she would be hard pressed to get any more sleep tonight.
Eleven - Lunch break
"... And I ask myself; 'You know, I've been blithering on like a fishwife for the last 15 minutes and she hasn't been listening to a word I'm saying. I wonder what's going on in that gorgeous head of hers?'" He snapped two carefully-manicured fingers before the face of his lunch-time companion, who was presently engrossed in dissecting her seared tuna with pearl onions in a red wine sauce.
Piersen looked up like she had been slapped, and her meandering fork came to a standstill. "Uh - I'm sorry, James. What was that?"
Patient hazel brown eyes searched her face. "I'm asking, 'What's wrong, Piersen?'."
She laughed a little. "What makes you think something's wrong?"
"Well, for one, it's not like you to play with your food. You're usually finished before I even start."
Looking down at the remnants on her plate, she smiled and put her fork down. Propping
her head up on the table, she looked up at the impossibly-clear skies overhead. "I
don't know... I just didn't sleep very well last night, that's all."
"Too much work to do, huh?"
"Yeah." Piersen lied.
James waited expectantly, knowing there was more to the tired answer than the woman was willing to give. Oh well. "You know, I am a member of your slave division, willing and waiting to do whatever you need to offload to me. You know that, don't you?"
Piersen couldn't help the mental image of her staff in chains, and her laughter joined those of the seagulls in the background. "James, I really can't thank you enough for that slave imagery." Her voice held a twist of sarcasm.
"Honey, hordes of people out there would sell their souls to chain me up." He wiggled his eyebrows at her. "But you get first dibs on me."
Smiling eyes touched his tanned, chiselled face. "James, you always know the right things to say."
"Anything for you, boss." He grinned, then turned serious. "Whatever it is, I can always listen. When you feel up to talking about it."
Suddenly feeling vulnerable, Piersen laughed and broke eye contact. "Sure. Thanks."
An uncomfortable silence settled, and both tried to busy themselves on the sounds of the harbour around them; the horn as the ferry pulled out, the train clattering over the tracks. The seagulls vying for their attention.
Piersen spoke. "I got word from the hospital project. Their PR guy took it to the department meeting, and he said it was received pretty well." She smiled, a touch amused. "They seemed to have committed themselves to a share of it at least, which is promising. He said it's safe for me to go and speak to the hospital board now."
"Really? A pack of wolves, are they?"
"Well, I'm not quite sure if he meant that, but I guess I should be prepared." She took a bite of her fish, chewing it slowly as she mulled over her thoughts. "It can't be so bad. If anything, I think they might be good partners to deal with - efficient, organised. Their wards and rooms looked like they were managed very well."
Now what were you doing in their hospital wards? Surely they haven't started giving guided tours... James asked casually. "What was it like?"
"Spotlessly clean. Amazingly well run, well organised. I wish the museum would run itself like that." She grinned. "The staff were polite, their rooms are comfortable, roomy -" She stopped, noting James' intent expression and feeling like she was being probed for information. "Anyway, it should be good doing business with them."
Hm. Busted, again. "Do you want me to come with you? Beat off those mean old doctors?" He gave the air a dramatic upper-cut.
She smiled again. "No, James. I think I can handle my own fights. Thanks anyway." And thought a moment. "But I do have quite a job for you."
He attempted a bow from his seated position. "Anything for you, mistress." He stuck his tongue out lasciviously at her, and Piersen burrowed her face in her hands, laughing.
She recomposed herself, stifling the giggles. "I'm trying to fast-track the opening date, and I can't do all the research and selections on my own - I'd like you to help me put the exhibition together. Compile the works, plan the outline and the layout. And since I've got my hands full with admin at the moment, and I'd particularly appreciate -"
He beamed perfect white teeth at her in a brilliant smile. "Wonderful! I'll be at it."
Piersen smiled enigmatically, her voice in a low register teasing the curator. "No, James. You're missing the best part."
His eyebrows rose, partly at the statement, partly from Piersen's voice.
"I'd particularly appreciate it if you would -" She smilingly reiterated herself, knowing she had a rapt audience before her. "Plan the opening. Food, guest list, entertainment." Her lips curved seductively, and drew out the last word slowly, mouth and tongue spelling it out for the entranced man sitting before her. "Everything."
There was a stunned silence.
Seagulls flew away in a puff of white and grey as James whooped joyously, jumping up and planting a noisy kiss on Piersen's forehead.
Twelve - After Hours
Kai leaned back in her chair, gnawing at the end of her red pen as she perused the latest figures from her own research team. This was the last in her series of research projects; the same series in which she discovered and perfected the techniques and applications allowing CNS nerve cells to regenerate, and be successfully integrated into the human nervous system. Through her research, cheap and effective treatment of trauma-induced spinal transections was now possible - and should her current work be successful, the same technique could be applied in the treatment of some major degenerative neurological diseases.
The implications certainly did not escape the interest of the medical community - in the two years following the publishing of her results there had been considerable focus placed on her research activities. But Kai had been equally fierce in her attempts to protect the results of her research until she saw fit to publish her findings officially.
To date, this had been achieved with moderate success. While Kai usually managed to safeguard much of the details of her work, word had leaked out that she was due to make a particularly important announcement. The resulting attention surrounding her research team at the affiliated Garvan Institute, and the almost-palpable buzz within the hospital was enough to put the neurosurgeon on edge.
I love my job, and I love my work, but damn - once this is over with, I don't think I'll head a research team, ever, EVER again.
Her mind growling with discontent, she malevolently glared at the data sheets stacked on her lap, her mind suddenly wondering if they were more trouble than they were worth. The Institute, caught in the wave of whispering speculation within the hospital complex, had suddenly placed extra security measures regarding the movement of information to and from the research centre. This surprise decision transformed, what Kai had thought would be a quick trip across the road, into half an hour of bureaucratic wrangling before she was able to gain access to her own research staff.
The surgeon stood, her imposing height dominating the office of the Head of the Garvan Institute. She was speaking with all the vehemence of a person who had to negotiate with Security for fifteen minutes before she was allowed to step foot within the building.
"... Brett, did you want to ask my research team to come down here to the foyer and identify me out of a line-up?"
"That's not the point, Kai -"
"Then what is the point, pray tell, when I can't even get in to see my own staff?"
"The Board had been suggesting that we should tighten security in anticipation of - "
My god, don't tell me that the Trustees have been getting into this... "Of what? My 'announcement'? I hope not, because at this rate I won't have an announcement to make!"
He looked somewhat abashed, and spoke in as reasonable a tone as he could muster. "Look, I'm sorry we stuffed up with your access, but I'm really not responsible for this. You'll have to talk to the Board."
Kai inhaled slowly, wrestling her annoyance to manageable levels before nodding curtly, and stepping out of the room.
What an ironic symbiosis. Trying to marry research efficiency within the bowels of hospital bureaucracy. Kai sighed, knowing that her mind was not really on analysing her data right now.
It's not the first time something like this has happened, either. Not long after the publishing of her work on Spinal cord transections and her transfer to St. Vincent's, one of the first proposals she submitted to the Board was a request to set up a program allowing her to teach the new grafting technique to neurosurgeons based locally and overseas.
The hospital's reaction was not as resounding as she hoped - they had clung desperately to her procedure like a prized secret, knowing she was the only person in the world able to perform it. Compounding this with wild rumours regarding Nobel shortlists and other imaginary accolades, the 12 membered board eventually rejected her proposal, blandly stating a desperate lack of resources and organisational staff.
Thus began a drawn-out affair that ended with the surgeon personally inviting the interested parties to her first operation at St. Vincent's, and giving an impromptu demonstration to an observation room filled with surgeons. The Board was so horrified at having lost the potential income, they quickly conceded to her request, supplementing her original proposal with a professorship at their affiliated university in an attempt to placate the somewhat volatile surgeon. This began a chain reaction, where other medical schools began offering her honorary chairs - Cambridge, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Montpellier - thereby hoping to secure her services in the near and distant future.
Like crocodiles at feeding time. The surgeon sighed, shoulders suddenly feeling very heavy.
Kai swivelled in her chair, blue eyes staring into windows that proclaimed that it was now very dark and cold outside. What would've been nice is if the University of Barbados would offer me a chair. I'd do a guest lecture series every winter. She sighed again, removing her glasses and turning to the clock.
Bloody hell. It's nine o'clock and I still haven't finished. Throwing her glasses on the table, she got up on her feet and stretched, feeling her joints pop as a she gratingly exhaled. Catching a glimpse of herself in the window's reflection, she realised that she was still dressed in her regulation blue scrubs and boot-covers, having been too lazy to remove them after her procedure late that morning.
Lazy. That's become too much of a buzz word for you lately. And you still have so much work left to do... She wrung out her neck, eyes focused now on the innocuous-looking pile of papers sitting on her table.
"Damn it. I'll just do this at home." She collected her papers, and a stack of unopened mail, and dropped it into her leather case. She stalked away, nimble fingers retrieving her glasses before she turned out the lights. Her nagging conscience threw a thought at her.
Lazy or not, you should at least check on your patients before you go, Kai.
Kai continued to walk across Adrian's office, opening the door to the corridor and making her way along its the darkened, silent walls. She paced across the overpass that connected the Clinic with the hospital complex and pressed for the lifts, her feet half-trudging to a stop.
The doors opened, and Kai entered, her feet not quite stomping as she went.
"Oh, alright..." She grumbled, and pressed 18 on the console.
Piersen stood leaning against the window, her eyes watching a still-unconscious Richard.
She sighed, wanting to ease the weight on her chest. She didn't know when she began to speak, only that she found herself hearing her own voice in the large, darkened room.
"You know, in the movies they always say that people in comas can hear you speak to them."
She waited, not really for anything in particular.
"I figured that since I have a captive audience, I'm just going to talk. It's a lot easier to say what I feel without you interrupting me all the time, you know."
Piersen paused, daring the unresponsive man to jinx her, before softening her gaze as the silence grew.
It felt strange, looking at him now - no frantic calls from the hospital, no ungodly morning hours, no doctors running in and out of the room. Just me, and you.
I never had the chance to get a good look at you. And now when I do... you seem older, wearier. There are lines on your face that weren't there before, Richard.
"Were your last three months anything like mine?" Three months. Was that really when I spoke to you last? "I spent all that time trying to keep away from you - organising the job, the tickets, the house... yet here we are, on the other side of the world."
She shrugged, feeling but unable to voice the irony of it all.
"I don't know why you're here, Richard. But I'm sure you'll let me know when you wake up. I don't know how you found out I was in Sydney either - mum must have told you."
She laughed, but it was humourless.
"You were the apple of her eye, you know. I don't know what made her happier - the fact that I was getting married at all, or that I was getting married to you. Remember the dinner when we announced the engagement? I've never seen her cry, but she was crying torrents..." The image of her mother wiping away black tears came to mind, and she chuckled slightly. Her make-up was always so perfect - I wish I'd had a camera.
"She still loves you like anything - but you probably know that. I'm half expecting her to fly out here when she hears about what has happened..." She snorted hollowly. "And why not? Just when I thought I was leaving both of you behind me - and already we are having a veritable family reunion. I wonder what she has saved up for me since I spoke to her last..."
A pause - she could imagine her mother's voice all too clearly.
"She'll probably be your advocate, like she always has been. In fact, she saw this whole thing as being my fault." Her voice broke off, her throat spasming on itself, trying to hold back emotion.
She wanted to sound sarcastic, but could only manage a pained whisper. "Can you imagine? You've been sleeping around, so of course it has to be my fault. A woman shouldn't spend her time working... she should be at home, taking care of her husband... No wonder you went astray." She swallowed, her mouth suddenly dry; full of words she could not bring herself to say before.
"This is where I want to make a startling confession, love. This is where I want to say something like - "Yes, you know what? I've had men on the side too. I'm so relieved to know it wasn't just me. Let's forget it ever happened, alright?"" Her voice rose steadily in a slight crescendo, then stopped again when she heard herself echo from the forbidding walls.
She took a deep, shuddering breath. "I wish - oh god, I wish I could say that..." She wiped defiantly at the moisture forming on her eyes.
There was a long silence, and for a long time Piersen was left alone with her thoughts, and the soft beep of the monitoring equipment beside her.
"If you're here for forgiveness, for some sort of reconciliation..." She looked into his face, framed by bandages still wrapped around his head.
"I can't. I'm sorry." She looked away, unable to look upon him any longer. "I'll just make sure you're back on your feet, then - then, you'll go your way, and I'll go mine -" Her voice was cut off by unbidden memories coming to her from faraway times, when he took her to see a musical at the West End for her birthday. You'll go your way, and I'll go mine...
Biting back tears, she pushed herself off the wall, and took brisk steps out of the room.
Kai stepped out of the lift, her cloth-bound shoes soundless as she forced reluctant feet to the front desk.
The nurse on night shift looked up from her book, and smiled. "Hi, Dr. Jamieson. Still here at this hour?"
She ran through her memory banks furiously, trying to place a name to the face. "Evening, Rebecca. Just have to check up on Mr. Stamford before I go." Okay, David. where have you put him? Finding his bed number, she picked up his files and leafed through them quickly for the monitoring notes.
"Oh, yes. Mr Stamford is in Bed 23. I checked on him about a half hour ago."
Kai nodded, and tucked the folder under her arm. "Thanks. Have a good night." She turned away, not waiting for the nurse's reply.
The neurosurgeon paced silently down the corridor, finding the purpose in her step that was so lacking before. Bed 23 - good choice, David. Room with a view. She slowed her steps as she approached, reaching for the handle.
The door flew open as her fingertips grazed the smooth metal, and a figure rushed into her. "Whoa..." Her hands moved reflexively to the person's shoulder to avoid the collision, but succeeded only in sending the patient file clattering to the floor.
Piersen did not see the towering figure standing slightly askew of the doorway. All she could think of was holding the tears in, so it was that when she hurtled straight into the warm body and felt strong hands on her shoulders that a sob was shocked out of her. She kept her head lowered, making half-hearted apologies. "I'm sorry - please excuse me..."
The bowed blonde head whipped up, and once again in their short acquaintance she was startled by the doctor's impossibly-blue eyes. "Dr. Jamieson... I'm so sorry, I didn't see you." She stammered slightly, suddenly aware that she wasn't in a state to be seen.
"No, it's alright..." Kai made a move to retrieve her scattered papers, but couldn't help but notice that the shorter woman's eyes were rimmed with red, and the bright features she knew marred with grief. God, what's happened?
Tightening her grip on the shoulders she still held, she looked into glazed green eyes and struggled to find the right words. "How..." are you? What's wrong? No, stupid, stupid! Now is not the time to be lost for words. She shook her head and dropped her hands, willing those words away. "I mean, uh - are you alright?"
Piersen broke the intent gaze and shook her head vigorously, biting her lip as she forced a smile. "Yes, I'm fine... it's just been a long day. Thanks for asking." She noticed the loose sheaves of paper scattered across the floor, and with a dismayed expression knelt to gather them up. "I'm so sorry - they must be all out of order..."
You're lying - you're not fine. Kai joined her on the floor, picking up the folder and stuffing the papers back in some semblance of order. The surgeon tried tentatively again, keeping her voice gentle as she balanced her weight on her hand, keeping her face level with hers. "Do you want to t..."
Piersen turned her face away, causing Kai to break off abruptly and lower her eyes. No, she silently berated herself, She doesn't want to talk about it. Good move, Kai. In a rush, she reached for a wad of fallen notes, only to feel the other woman's hand beneath her fingertips.
Startled, blue eyes looked up into Piersen's, neither of them able to move.
They remained that way for a fractured instant, the doctor reaching out to the curator as fingers touched, as eyes met. Something purer than air seemed to pass between them, though neither of them knew what it was - only that it was gone when the moment passed them by, as with every jagged piece of time.
Green eyes broke away first. Kai stood up abruptly, dusting off imaginary dirt from her knees. "I was just about to check on your -"
Piersen interrupted her. "Yes, I gathered. Thank you for looking after him." She pushed her hair back from her face, her eyes avoiding the doctor. She looked at her watch. "I should probably -"
The doctor spoke hastily, sensing the she was about to leave. "Dr. Foster sent a note telling me you were there when he was tranferred. I'm sorry I couldn't be there to do it personally... I was caught in a meeting."
"Sure - no, that's fine. He was lovely."
Kai paused, then fumbled a moment, finding her pen in the breast pocket of her scrubs. "If you have any questions, or anything you want to talk about -" She stole a glance at Piersen with that last phrase, "You can give me a call at my office, or on my cell phone." She took a blank sheet of paper from the folder and scribbled down a series of numbers. "The cell phone's off when I'm in the wards, but if you call my office they can page me." She folded the piece of paper neatly, deliberately, and handed it to her.
"Thank you." She folded the piece of paper again and placed it in her wallet. "I should get home." She turned her eyes to the doctor who watched her quietly, and felt a new wave of tears threaten to burst their banks. She bowed her head, trying to hide her face as she screwed her eyes shut momentarily, wringing her eyes dry. "Thanks again, Dr. Jamieson."
But she did not turn away enough. Kai saw everything - though she felt the blonde woman's fleeting expression more than anything - almost like a punch, leaving a dull ache in her chest. "Uh - are you alright getting home?"
"Yes, I'll be fine. The 389 drops me off right at the corner." She forced a smile. "Goodnight, doctor." She turned, her brisk steps echoing down the hallway.
The doctor's voice was almost inaudible, and her brows settling in a worried furrow as she watched the slim figure walk away from her.
The ache was still there. "Good night, Piersen."
Thirteen - The Psychiatrist is In
Kai shared her couch with her glasses and cell phone, holding her half-empty glass lazily between thumb and forefinger, and surrounded by paper filled with printed numerals and angry red scrawls.
The analysis of her data had been finished, but it had taken her much longer than she had anticipated. I'm NEVER this inefficient. But the truth of the matter was unavoidable: Kai Jamieson was distracted.
The human brain is an organ unparalleled in its complexity and is capable of many things. Dendritic synapses between different groups of neurons allow for calculations, analyses and critical thinking to occur simultaneously with complex motor functions and meandering thoughts. Normally, Kai's electrical brain activity kept each of these things well compartmentalised in their appropriate level of consciousness.
However, tonight was not the case. Interspersed between the gene sequence coding for the neurotransmitter Dopamine and the results of today's PCR assay were memories of misty green eyes holding back tears, of the fleeting texture of cold fingertips and a mental map of the 389 bus route.
"Damn." The realisation hit her, and it only made her angrier. "What's going on with you, Kai?"
She took a quick swig from her glass, the smooth liquid taking the heat of her frustration and sent it down her oesophagus, into her stomach, dissipating in tingles across her body. Resettling herself cross-legged on the couch, the doctor mused wryly to herself, hearing her own tired thoughts shaping themselves into unravelling questions. Great - you'll never get anything done at this rate. Not unless you sort yourself out.
Squaring her shoulders, she took another quick drink and set her glass on her knee. Okay then, the topic today is: 'What the hell is going on with Kai'. Let's get some ideas together, shall we?
A breath. "You want to know why she's upset. That's not a bad thing."
The answer not forthcoming, Kai tried another tack. Okay, let's do this logically. "So you obviously care for her. Whether or not that is a bad thing is debatable. Where does your interest in her well being lie?"
Kai took the stand, raising an eyebrow at the Judge Beam, who seemed intent at ignoring her. She mentally drawled - Well, your Honour, it's like this...
"One." My interest in her well being stems from the fact that I am her husband's physician.
"Two." A holistic approach to medicine suggests, no, demands that I consider not only the well being of my patient, but all my patient's interests.
She hastily added a sub-clause. "Assuming, of course, that my patient is interested in his wife."
Triumphant, she pulled her syllogism together.
"Ergo - I am interested in his wife." Quod Erat Demonstrandum.
Interested in his wife. She frowned, her slightly fuzzy mind re-processing her syllogism with deliberation.
I'm interested in his wife's wellbeing. In my patient's and his wife's wellbeing. As with all my patients, who are married.
Right. My point exactly.
Smug, she folded her arms across her chest, but still felt somewhat cheated of her satisfaction.
To Be Continued...
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